Career path and evaluation policy for Professorial Staff (ZAP)

As a caring employer Ghent University promotes a talent-driven HR policy. The career model for our professorial staff is based on trust, intrinsic motivation, open feedback culture, and collaboration. This is a fertile ground for innovative research, excellent education and good leadership.

Short introduction on the career and evaluation policy for professorial staff (ZAP) policy.

" A predominantly quantitative and output-driven academic evaluation process makes way for talent development and growth, prioritizing vision development and strategy – at the personal as well as the group level. Quality prevails over quantity. " (Rector Rik Van de Walle)

Main principles in a nutshell

  • Those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative burden.
  • Evaluations will take place every five years (which is the minimum as imposed by law).
  • The evaluation cycle consists of:
  1. Integration text interview (at the beginning of each cycle)
  2. Intermediate feedback interview
  3. Evaluation interview (at the end of each cycle)
  • More than ever, we focus on talent-oriented support and coaching of the professorial staff in the different phases of their career. To do so, a personalized HR committee has been set up for each professor. 

Tailored-made HR committee

An HR committee is assigned to each professor and consists of:

  • the department chair of the professor involved
  • a professor from the Educational Quality Control Unit
  • a member of the faculty office
  • a peer professor (at the level of full professor or senior full professor)
  • a HR expert
  • a secretary (non-voting), if any, appointed by the chair

During the evaluation period, various interviews are held between the professorial staff member and the HR committee. The HR committee serves, on the one hand, as a sounding board for the professor involved aby means of guidance and coaching in the various phases of the career, and, on the other hand, guarantees that the needs of the faculty and the needs of the individual professor are kept in balance.

Interviews with the HR committee

Ghent University expects each ZAP member to reflect on own strengths and growth points and this in a dialogue with the HR-committee.

All documents and follow-up of the interviews is monitored via the online application SuccessFactors (SF).

  • Integration interview: discussion of the ambitions of the professorial staff member with regard to various result areas in function of a bigger picture (template Integration text)
  • Feedback interview: reflection moment, individual coaching and career guidance of the professorial staff member
  • Evaluation interview: assessment of the past evaluation period by the HR committee (templates Reflection report and Evaluation report)

The inspiration frameworks and job profiles below offer help: 

Supportive programme for professors

A team of HR advisors and coaches (DPO) supports ZAP in their role as a professor and offers a tailor-made programme.

More information


Department Personnel and Organisation

HR advisors:

Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25

9000 Gent

In Dutch

Loopbaan Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel